Hillary Clinton Rapid Response Web Site

Hillary Clinton’s campaign rolled out a rapid response site, dubbed “The Fact Hub,” just in time, the NYT’s Jim Rutenberg reports.

It used to be that when a campaign had an argument with a news report, it put out a mass e-mail message disputing the offending item. That was a huge technological leap from the fax machine. Now even e-mail may be growing quaint. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign on Thursday introduced a Web site dedicated exclusively to the instantaneous rebuttal of charges or news reports it deems offensive or wrong.

And the day offered a perfect opportunity for the campaign, with a potentially embarrassing mini-scandal: a waitress’s report that Mrs. Clinton had failed to tip after eating at a Maid-Rite diner in central Iowa, an assertion that ricocheted around the Internet on Thursday.

After NPR broadcast the report, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign responded by saying the candidate and her aides had in fact left a tip: $100 on a $157 check at the diner. The restaurant manager, Brad Crawford, confirmed in interviews, including with The New York Times, that Mrs. Clinton, of New York, and her retinue had indeed left a tip, though he did not say how much.

NPR later included Mr. Crawford’s and the campaign’s versions of events in an editor’s note attached to the online version of its report.

It’s interesting that a rapid response site is considered a new innovation given the quick embrace by campaigns of blogging. Rapid response would seem to be the most obvious and efficient use of campaign blogs, after all. Then again, most campaign blogs have just rehashed stump speeches.

The tip story is amusing on a variety of levels. For one thing, a $100 tip on a $157 check is so far beyond generous as to be a head scratcher. For another, it would seem that whomever received said tip for distribution was a mite slow on the distribution end, given that the waitstaff was unaware of any tip being left.

FILED UNDER: General, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    Perhaps she can get John Kerry to staff it. I hear he is almost ready to respond to the swift boat veterans and is just waiting to see the white’s of their eyes.

  2. Hal says:

    I think the bit at the end of this article sums it up nicely – everything from the story in the NY Times, to this blog post, to the inane commentary above

    “You people are really nuts,” she told a reporter during a phone interview. “There’s kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now — there’s better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn’t get a tip.”

    You people really are nuts.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Sorry, I deleted the “inane commentary” from the HRC spammer.

    I disagree, however, that just because there are big issues out there that we therefore can’t talk about the small ones. It’s not as if nobody’s talking about the war or oil prices, after all.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    What I’ll be interested in seeing is if the response is really rapid since, judging by how quickly the campaign sites are updated, that doesn’t look too likely.

  5. R. Alex says:

    Hal, the same argument could be applied to the sexual adventures of a conservative western senator in airport bathrooms, no? Kids are dying and we’re concerned about that? We must be nuts…

  6. Bandit says:

    dubbed “The Fact Hub,”

    Was ‘Streaming Bullshit’ already taken?

  7. Hal says:

    Hal, the same argument could be applied to the sexual adventures of a conservative western senator in airport bathrooms, no?

    Maybe. But considering that said Senator was rabidly anti-gay and stands on a platform which denounces such stuff clearly sets it apart in class than whether a tip was left in a diner, no?

    Or are we just stepping back to Pluto and saying everything on the earth looks the same size from this vantage point?

  8. Grewgills says:

    The tip story is a bit silly but I liked the waitress’s response when she was contacted.

    “You people are really nuts,” she told a reporter during a phone interview. “There’s kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now — there’s better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn’t get a tip.”